Germany: Armenian mafia controls the streets of Erfurt

Germany: Armenian mafia controls the streets of Erfurt

According to the public television channel of the Free State of Thuringia, ‘MDR THÜRINGEN’, the Armenian mafia and the criminal rocker gang ‘Hells Angels’, well-known in Germany, have a joint business in the ‘red light district’ in the German state of Thuringia. According to the channel, the two groups are involved in criminal activities in the fields of drug trafficking and prostitution. And the contacts between the two groups already have a long history.

"It was supposed to be the most banal car verification. Two policemen from Erfurt were attracted by a dark limousine. They stopped the car, the passengers were young men from Armenia. They talked on the phone, screamed and threatened. A few minutes later some other cars arrived – reinforcements for the two Armenians. The level of aggression in the air increased, the situation became dangerous. Only after the arrival of reinforcements did the police manage to bring the situation under control," the TV channel reported about the events that happened four years ago. The case was the first clash between the street gang ‘United Tribunes’ and the police of Erfurt. We are talking about the phenomenon of organized crime, which began to spread in Germany about 10 years ago, young people from migrant backgrounds are slipping into a ‘team’, their role models are the rocker gangs ‘Hells Angels’ or the ‘Banditos’.

The ‘United Tribunes’ in Erfurt were formed on the basis of the ‘Joker’ gang, according to investigators of the criminal police, in this case it was also about a biker gang wing. There was a strict hierarchy, and there was a ‘president’, a young Armenian acting as the boss.

Young migrants were looking for contacts with the ‘Hells Angels’ and their supporting club the ‘Red Devils’. So few people were surprised when in March 2010 members of the 'Joker' club were present at the opening of the clubhouse of the Red Devils in the northern part of Erfurt. According to MDR Thüringen, the Jokers did dirty business for the Hells Angels. For example, some members of the group were involved in racketeering, the arms smuggling business and brothels. 

The traces of the Joker gang have been lost in time. Insiders tell about conflicts and clashes within the gang. Some of its members went to the United Tribunes gang, others joined another street gang the Black Jackets, which is also a criminal organization engaged in prostitution. Other members of the gang decided to ‘go legit’ and chose a more serious path – they became businessmen, opened hookah bars, showrooms and shops selling alcohol in Erfurt. But their contacts with the underworld not only remained, but strengthened, expanded and spread to other cities – Berlin, Leipzig and Halle.

This, however, wasn't noticed by anyone until July 2014, when a bloody skirmish broke out between the two Armenian groups in Erfurt. Almost all Armenian young entrepreneurs were at the crime scene at that time, or in the immediate vicinity of it. One of the former kings of the Erfurt brothel business was near the police barriers at five in the morning just ‘by accident’. The man had contact with the Hells Angels, including the leadership of the rocker group. He explained his ‘morning walk’ near the crime scene household was due to curiosity induced by a police helicopter circling above the neighborhood.

After the fight in Erfurt, a major lawsuit against the Armenian mafia was conducted. Ten people were accused, among other things, of attempted murder and forming an armed group. The real reason for the brothel owner's curiosity could have been the shootout's participants – members of the Armenian mafia who supported intensive contacts with his institution. The brothel owner may be involved as a witness in the ongoing trial.

There are two Armenians in the dock – former members of the Joker gang, probably even then, seven years ago, engaged in criminal activity. Similarly, other members of the group appear regularly at the hearings as visitors. During this time they learned how the ‘street business’ is operating – drug trafficking, extortion and arms dealing, people who were previously a part of the Joker gang or subsequently the United Tribunes gang are involved in these businesses. Today they are all part of the Armenian mafia in Erfurt. Their old contacts with the Hells Angels have never ceased, they have been transferred to a ‘new track’. The ‘business’ is still the same, the only difference is that the Armenians are no longer following the orders of the Hells Angels and have become their partners. "Various gangs are controlling the streets of Erfurt, but the Armenian mafia is present everywhere," the German television channel reports.

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